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Resume format and layout


Resume format and layout

Learn how to format your resume and catch the employer’s attention


Types of Resume Formats

Formatting a resume can be complicated, but luckily there are lots of advice on what kind of resume format you can use to suit your personal needs.


Chronological Resume

The most common of the three types available to everyone is the Chronological Resume. It is organized by experience, in chronological order, starting with the most recent. This is what most employers would expect to see from candidates right now.

Functional or Skills-Based Resume

With a different approach, the Functional or Skill-Based Resume highlights the skills and qualities the candidate has that makes him the ideal candidate for this gap. This is organized by skills or experience, and not necessarily in chronological order.

Combination Resume

A blend of the two previous types, the Combination Resume, sometimes also known as a ‘hybrid resume’, uses both the chronological format for work experience and also dedicates a lot of space and attention to highlighting the skills and abilities of each applicant.

Resume Format Features

Read the top 4 features of our resume format and discover why formatting a resume correctly is the key to notice.


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Formatting a resume is incredibly important, but can sometimes be overlooked. Learning how to write a resume can take time, but it’s worth your time to make sure you format your document accurately and comprehensively.

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Your CV is your personal representative. A hiring manager will review headlines, general content and check for errors before deciding whether to proceed or reject your application. A well-formed document showing your strengths is your ticket to success.

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Basic Resume Format

Getting the basic resume format right is crucial to ensuring that a potential employer can easily pick you out from the crowd. Using a robust, optimized layout is crucial as this will help you add the essential resume sections required for every job application.


The first part of the basic resume structure includes the purpose or summary statement used to grab the attention of potential employers.

86% of people included someone
804 people created one


Second, the most important part for almost all resumes is the work experience area dedicated to showing the details of the candidate’s work history and professional achievements.

92% of people involved someone
1258 people created one


The third of the standard departments is education in which candidates list their academic titles, diplomas and courses they have undertaken.

95% of people involved
1479 people created one


Finally, add a few other sections about your professional profile, including skills, languages, internships or other suitable achievements, to make your resume unique.

88% of people involved someone
909 people created one

Basic Tips On How to Format a Resume

The formatting of your document can have a huge impact on how noticeable it will be. By following the important tips below, you can easily create a resume that is easier to read and looks good on paper.

Control List

To create a resume


Without a good format, a resume is just a list of achievements, previous employment, diplomas, and extra information without order or structure, making it impossible for recruiters to understand.

Use headings to make it easy to find basic information.
Use a common, formal font type such as Arial or Times New Roman, and a size such as 10 or 12.
Keep the same font and highlight features from start to finish. For example. If you type in italics for an employer, all employers’ names must maintain this style.
Use bullets to describe responsibilities and accomplishments in your work experience.
Use single line spacing and justify all text with a left margin.
Make sure there are no grammar or spelling mistakes.

What Is The Best Format For Your Resume?

In our online resume creation tool, you can choose from 3 standard professional resume formats. Each of these arrangements has different advantages and disadvantages depending on your profile and the type of business you follow.

If you’re not sure which one to choose, don’t worry. We’ve created a quick guide below to explain who can benefit most from each different resume type and their pros and cons.

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When to Choose a Chronological Format Resume

Chronological resumes allow you to provide a high level of detail about your previous work experience and career history. It works by creating a timeline of all the jobs you got back 10 years ago, or your first job if you’ve been working less than that.

Of course, if your career is already well established, this is a great choice for you. It is also the most anticipated type of resume format and one that recruiters will be most used to reading.

  • Most used
    Focus on your work experience
    Gives an indication of your career progression
  • Impractical if you have gaps in your work history
  • Not useful for career changers
  • Can have a negative effect if you have changed jobs frequently

Works best for:

When you have already placed yourself in the career of your choice. Although it is a good all-round choice.

When to Choose a Functional Format Resume

A functional or skill-based resume can help you highlight your abilities. Unlike chronological or combination formats, the main body is primarily dedicated to showing off your most hiring skills. Resume format and layout,#What is a Resume?,#How to Write a Resume for Your First Job?,#What to Put on a Resume?,#How to Format a Resume?,#How to Write a Resume Summary?,#How to Make a Cover Letter For a Resume?,#What is the Best Resume Template?,#Are These Resume Templates Free?,#Are These Resume Templates ATS-Friendly?,#Who Created These Resume Samples?,#

While this isn’t a common format choice, it can be a great option for a career changer. This is because it doesn’t provide too much biographical detail about your experience and instead draws attention to your other achievements and abilities.

The functional format can also mask any gaps in your work history that may have occurred. This again, thanks to the less detailed focus on your last experience. However, this is not foolproof as some employers can still question this hole in your records.

  • Helps your skills stand out
  • Practical for an inexperienced professional
  • Can be useful for career changers
  • Doesn’t provide enough detail about career experience
  • Not as popular with recruiters as other choices
  • Not as well optimized for ATS

Works best for:

Situations where there are gaps in your career history or lack of experience.

When to Choose a Combination Format Resume

Combination format CVs offer candidates a “best of both worlds” approach. In this case, instead of having to choose whether to prioritize skills or experience, you can highlight both equally.

This can be a great template choice for a highly specialized candidate with a strong employment background. By focusing on your skills as well as hands-on experience, the combination format allows you to make a much stronger impression of your versatile expertise.

  • Gives equal balance to your skills and experience
  • Useful for career changers or experienced professionals
  • Can be very beneficial for highly expert candidates
  • It’s more difficult to create than other resume formats
  • Can’t be used in as many scenarios as other formats
  • Makes it more difficult to highlight educational achievements

Works best for:

When you’ve got special expertise that you want to highlight to the employer.

Optimizing Different Resume Format Types for Applicant Tracking Software

As you choose your basic resume format and start optimizing your design, it’s important to keep an eye on the requirements of Application Tracking Software (ATS). ATS is now almost universally used by employers to monitor and filter hundreds of applications that they sometimes take for a single role.

However, as many candidates may discover its disadvantage, ATS can be very strict when it comes to formatting your resume. These filtering systems are often set to allow only certain documents to pass through, and you might lose it by running an optimized template.

Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent this from happening to you. We’ve put together 3 basic tips that can help you create a very solid CV for ATS.

The best format for ATS


Generally the best format to pass ATS is a chronological template. This is what most systems will be set up to process. By placing elements such as your work experience in the most prominent position, the software will be able to read the data of your document much more efficiently.

Stick to a Single Page

Just like a human recruiter, ATS generally prefers shorter resumes. This is because reading and processing a single page document is much faster and is often due to employer preferences when programming these systems.

This rule should only be violated if you have too much relevant work experience to include, or if you have a lot of academic achievements. However, if you need to expand a 2nd page, don’t go further than that, as a 3+ page document will greatly reduce the impact of your resume on recruiters.

Choose an ATS Optimized Font

When designing your CV, it’s important to remember that ATS must be able to understand the text. If you use custom graphics or fonts, it is quite possible that the software will not be able to read your information and discard your document.

So it’s better to make mistakes on the simpler side of things and stick to legible and machine-readable text styles. This could include one of the following:


How to Format Your Resume to Perfection

Keeping your resume format looking sharp isn’t just something you should do to avoid falling into the ATS set traps. Your final document should be easily readable and catch the employer’s attention.

This doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in graphic design to make your document more stylish (remember that our resume maker can help you do this right). The most important factors to consider are organizing all the information you provide and how easy it is for the recruiter to review and read.

To help you, here are some basic tips on how to format a resume. These can come in handy if you’re just starting out on your student resume or need to update your professional profile:

Tip 1

Use headers to make the essential information easy to find.

Tip 2

Never use an illegible font.

Tip 3

Instead use a common, formal font type and size, such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman, size 10 or 12 to maintain a professional aesthetic.

Tip 4

Use single line spacing and justify all texts with a left margin.

Tip 5

Use bullet points to describe responsibilities and accomplishments in your work experience etc.

Tip 6

Keep the same font and highlight feature for every detail. For example. If you type the company name for an employer in bold, italic, or underline, all employers’ names must maintain this style.


The Skills Section on a Resume

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